The current site of the Farmers Ranchers Feed Mill on South Main Street in Ainsworth was purchased from W.S. Rogers in 1971. Christmas Eve of 1977, the mill caught fire and burned to the ground. A new mill was built in its place in 1978.
Since then, the Feed Mill has continued to grow and expand over the years. In 1993, additional warehouse space, a new office, and a new scale was added. Additional storage for bulk feed and ingredients was added in 1994.
2008 marked a year for increased manufacturing with the purchase of a second pellet mill to double the production of cake and pellets. The automation process started in 2009 with an automatic sacker and pallet robot, and was completed in 2010 with the new computerized batching system. The addition of new loadout/receiving bays was completed in the summer of 2013. The feed delivery trucks have also increased from 4 trucks to 8 in recent years.
FR Feeds was developed in 2013 as a part of Farmers Ranchers Coop. Today FR Feeds sells feed in 5 states with 19 dealers in 3 states.
Farmers Ranchers Co-op has just completed a building expansion that has made the feed mill in Ainsworth much better equipped to handle its growing business. To put it bluntly, we outgrew our britches.
Figures bear it out. Consider that when the mill first started, it was loading out 150 tons of feed a day. Today, we’re putting out anywhere from 300 to 450 tons daily. Over the past 10 years, we’ve increased our per-year tonnage output from 29,000 to 46,000. That’s a lot of ingredients and feed coming into and out of this facility. In addition, we’re dealing with today’s large semi-trucks versus yesterday’s farm truck with a 16-foot box full of corn. There are days we’re actually playing traffic cop to try and keep trucks moving in and out as efficiently as possible.
That’s why the 48’ x 120’ $1.6 million expansion that went up on the south side of the mill has been a welcome addition. Completed the summer of 2013, the building houses a receiving area on one side. On the other side is a load-out facility for cake products, including four 45-ton bins for storage, with room for further storage expansion when needed. Two driveways to accommodate the facility were added, as well as a pit, drags, and leg that runs from the receiving area to existing ingredient
The work began the fall of 2012, with EBM Mill & Elevator Supply out of Norfolk serving as overall contractor. Now that It’s done, what used to take 45 minutes to unload a semi now takes approximately 15 minutes. It has simply make it easier to get product in, get it unloaded, and get product to our customers more quickly. It’s been a project we’ve been discussing for the past five years, and we’re happy to have it come to fruition. If you haven’t been at the mill for a while, drive by and take a look.